Scanning back and forth

14th December 2011 – 7.51 pm

I'm back and hoping my previous reconnaissance will now pay off. I plan to ditch my covert Tengu strategic cruiser for a more appropriate ambushing Manticore stealth bomber for my roam, removing the sensor recalibration delay and gaining a faster locking time, along with harder hitting torpedoes and the devastating first punch of a bomb. Considering the neighbouring class 3 w-space system is the same as yesterday, and not a single pilot has shown his face in the system in over a day, it's probably academic which ship I take. I could probably wander around in a shuttle and be just as successful in roaming as any other ship, but I want to be optimistic.

Before I trade ships I ought to be cautious and check the home system for new signatures. I don't want to be blindsided by a new wormhole's appearance bringing ships in behind me. And there is a new signature, and it resolves to be a new wormhole. I didn't really want to see the red pustule of a K162 from deadly class 6 w-space when I'm looking to hunt, but there it is. I may as well take a look on the other side, to see what may be in store for me if I am careless. Not much, it seems, at least from the wormhole, my directional scanner showing me nothing but an off-line tower. I think I'd better launch scanning probes.

I warp away from the wormhole to a distant planet, looking to get out of d-scan range of any potential active towers and the wormhole before decloaking to launch probes. Mid-warp I see an interesting blip on d-scan, a Thanatos carrier apparently in the middle of nowhere. I have to wonder what it's doing there. Maybe engaging Sleepers in an anomaly, or collapsing a wormhole, or feeling cosy in a safe spot for whatever reason. He's gone by the time I've launched probes and performed a blanket scan of the system, so maybe he warped to a safe spot before going off-line or is collapsing a wormhole. I'm curious to find out which.

My probes reveal one anomaly, twelve signatures, and two ships. The ships are an Orca industrial command ship and a shuttle, a trendy combination to leave unpiloted in a tower's shields these days, it seems. There is no Thanatos, nor any defences around the tower. I think I'll scan. Nothing looks like a wormhole where d-scan placed the Thanatos, but then again the connection to our home system doesn't look like a wormhole on my probes either. I suppose I simply don't scan C6 systems often enough to get a feel for signature strengths. Gas, rocks, magnetometric and radar sites, and only the static wormhole to our class 4 system. The Thanatos either collapsed a wormhole or went off-line in a safe spot. I won't be able to tell the difference from these scan results.

Whatever happened to the carrier, the C6 is currently quiet, and there are no more wormholes heading backwards. I return home and warp across the system to jump in to our neighbouring C3, eschewing swapping to the Manticore now that I'm back in the scanning mindset, and am utterly unsurprised to see a complete lack of activity. The only change is that the old static exit to low-sec empire space has finally collapsed after I opened it yesterday. Scanning probes give me the same overall result as before but with one signature different. And thanks to my earlier thorough scanning, coupled with labelling the bookmarks with signature identifiers, I pluck the static wormhole out of the nine signatures and resolve it, giving me a new exit, in a way I make sound so easy.

The wormhole is super-stable for only now being opened, and leads out to Black Rise in Caldari space. Scanning gives me a K162 from more class 3 w-space, jumping in finding it to be the system where we bravely pop an unpiloted Heron eight months ago. Curiously enough, despite appearing in w-space on a U210 I have a high-sec connection listed as being found last time. Maybe it's an error in my notes, or the locals found a way to reconfigure their system. The tower remains in the same place but, as is typical, no one is home. A blanket scan of the system has more signatures than I care to shake a probe at, but I soon pull myself out of a silly funk and count a mere eighteen signatures mixed with nineteen anomalies.

A mere eighteen signatures is still plenty to sift through, but I suppose I'm not going anywhere unless I do. Besides, a quick look for K162s is always tempting, and I start arranging my probes around the dense cluster of signatures in the centre of the system. Phew, eliminating a dozen signatures in a few scans is pretty efficient and, as it turns out, productive. I resolve a second wormhole in the system, making me feel justified in scanning until I warp to it and find the K162 from class 3 w-space reaching the end of its lifetime. Game over, man. It's another straightforward constellation with no one home. Despite my best efforts, I'm going home for the evening without bumping in to another pilot.

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